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What is ADHD? My 10-year-old son has a very difficult time concentrating in school, could this be the problem? 

"Ask the Experts" at East Jefferson General Hospital [Web Exclusive Content]

ADHD stands for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. This disorder is also known as hyperactivity, or attention deficit disorder (ADD). Children with ADHD can show signs of poor attention, hyperactivity, or both. If they have poor attention, they may find it hard to concentrate, follow directions or finish a job. If they have hyperactivity, they may fidget, talk too much, interrupt others or keep leaving their seats at school. Children with ADHD can have trouble finishing schoolwork, getting along with other children, following directions and obeying rules.

All children show some of these behaviors some of the time. However, in children with ADHD, these behaviors happen more often, are more severe and are disruptive in school and at home.

Your son may have ADHD, although it is possible that he has difficulty concentrating for other reasons. Talk with your child's doctor. A diagnosis of ADHD can be made only by getting information about your child's behavior from several people who know your child. Your doctor will ask you questions and may want to get information from your child's teachers or anyone else who is familiar with your child's behavior. Your doctor may have forms or checklists that you and your child's teacher can fill out. Your doctor will also do vision and hearing tests if these tests haven't been done recently.

Dr. Gordon Magonet is a practicing faculty physician with the East Jefferson Family Medicine Clinic and Residency Program and is certified with the American Board of Family Medicine. Should you wish to arrange a clinic appointment for your child with Dr. Magonet or another family practice physician, contact HealthFinder at 504-456-5000 or the Family Medicine Clinic at 504-454-7878.

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